What Does it Take for Nannies to Be Loyal to a Nanny Placement Agency?
By Ginger Swift, President of ABC Nannies and Domestics, Denver Colorado
When I think of loyalty, I think of friends that hang with you no matter what. Of course, loyalty can be lost if you do something awful to harm the relationship but for the most part, loyal friends stick with you like glue. During this recession, I wondered whether nannies would remain loyal to an agency or if they may find alternative way to find a job.
Last fall, a survey went out to nannies across the country to see how nannies find jobs and if they are loyal to a particular method. Over 80 nannies responded and the comments were very consistent. Sixty-five percent of the nannies surveyed, first call a nanny placement agency when starting to look for a new job. Eighteen percent contact their friends and nanny network first when searching for a job. Eight percent immediately get on Craig’s List and another eight percent contact a nanny web site. Less than one percent of those surveyed answered that they place classified advertisements in the newspaper. Nanny web sites and traditional agencies tied for the second most used method followed by networking with friends, Craig’s List, newspaper, Internet, and networking with Mother’s Clubs and employer’s friends. The most popular online agencies mentioned were 4Nannies.com, sittercity.com, enannysource.com, and care.com.
Although 65% of nanny candidates first contact a nanny placement agency, only 54% of the same people surveyed said it was their favorite way to find a job. Perhaps, some nanny placement agencies have some work to do to make this a higher number.
Here is what one nanny said, "I still prefer working with an agency because there is a hope that the agency actually checks out the family and will match my skills and then help with the contract negotiations but I have been disappointed by a number of agencies over the years."
For the most part, nannies seemed pleased with their agencies. "I feel that agencies usually have higher paying families and families will treat you as a professional," said one nanny and this sentiment was shared by other nannies as well. "All my best positions have been through nanny agencies," answered another nanny.
One nanny replied, "While I like looking through web sites and having access to all the job descriptions, going through an actual agency is my first preference."
Another nanny answered, "The guidance, negotiations, and contract help is why I go through an agency."
Other preferences in finding a nanny job were word of mouth (24%), online agencies (8%), Craig’s List (6%), followed by ads in paper (1%) and none (1%).
Not surprisingly, 100% of all the nannies surveyed said that they tell other nannies where to go to whom to use in finding a nanny job. And while financial incentives are nice, no nannies surveyed would ever refer an agency that they did not feel good about. An in-home childcare provider said, "I just recommend if it’s the right thing to do. Incentives or not."
So what does it take for a nanny to be loyal to an agency? Those surveyed had this to share: "I’ll be loyal if they have been loyal to me," "Genuine personal attention from the agency, "the friendly and helpful staff," "honesty," and "the way they treat me."
Perhaps, this nanny phrased it best, "I’m loyal to an agency that realizes I too am a client." Nannies want to work with nanny agencies that communicate, listen, respect, support, and work hard.
During this recession, it is likely that nanny placement agencies that don’t do this will disappear and those that truly care about helping and finding nannies jobs will be around for the long-term.
Are you loyal to a nanny placement agency? What is your advice to working with a nanny placement agency?